I once spent 30 years in a creative block that was primarily based in my religious legalism.
The source of our creativity does not just originate in our minds, but also our souls. In fact, passions of the heart may influence your creativity more than logic could ever hope to. When you think about the Puritans, you typically think of hard pews, long sermons, and white wigs.
There are several reasons religious legalism can put you in a creative block.
- Fear – Those who make restrictive religious rules usually do so because they are anxious about what might happen without the rules. Fear of questioning the status quo. Fear of finding something new. Fear of being wrong. Fear of not being approved of.
- Rigidity – I was unwilling to allow for any variations in the way I thought about the world. Much like the church persecuting Galileo for pointing the truth about the universe, I persecuted myself for exploring new thoughts or ideas.
- Arrogance – As a legalist, I felt I was right, about everything. There was no need to explore or question or discover, because i already knew it all.
Need to get away from self imposed rules and rigid thinking? Try these suggestions.
1. Read a book that you do not approve or that is written by an author that you disagree with. At the end of the book you may be convinced that you were wrong or maybe more convinced that you were right. Either way, your brain will be stimulated to think instead of just accepting.
2. Attend church at a denomination that you have never been to before. One of the best things that ever happened to me was worshiping with people that I did not agree with. I discovered that they loved Jesus too, maybe even more than I did.
3. Apologize to someone who disagrees with you telling them that you can see their point of view. Pride leads to rigid thinking. Humility can open the door for you to experience new thoughts and people. Who knows, you just might make a friend who can stimulate your creativity.
4. Break one of your own rules. The more restrictions we place on ourselves, the less likely we are to explore anything new. Use some discernment, though, some rules were not made to be broken. They were made out of difficult lessons.
5. Do anything that enhances your experiences of God’s magnificent creation. Watch the sunset. Enjoy a glass of wine. Eat good food. Listen to beautiful music. Feel the touch of a loved one.
The very first thing we are told about God, is that he is creative. When we explore ideas or develop new solutions to old problems or simply describe our experience in the world he made, then we are being like him.
Have your religious views affected your creativity?
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